To placate me, she sent me this link for a beautiful sudoku pencil from Flax art and design.
The sturdy pencil boasts an extra-large eraser, and holds 0.9 mm lead. Perfect for many hours of happy puzzling.
I do use a pencil for my sudoku and crosswords. I don't erase much, but like to have the option. I'd bet this pencil would work equally well for crosswords or the Jumble.
Since I discovered that my friend Monica does her sudokus without writing more than one number in a box, I've taken up the challenge and only write in the box when I know what the number is. Interestingly, it's worked out quite well, even with four and five-star puzzles.
I was speaking with a friend recently and remarked that I frequently do sudoku as I am going to sleep at night. He thought that would be stimulating and keep me awake. That does not seem to be the case. I often read the "Lifestyle" section of the paper, read the comics, then do the Jumble and Sudoku puzzles, sometimes the crossword as I drift off to sleep. When my eyes get heavy, I put the puzzle aside to finish the next day. I think that rather than stimulating my mind, it takes my mind off the stressors of the day, and allows me to slip into sleep.
I find dancing does much the same (blogging, too). I focus on whatever it is I am doing at the time, and let the rest go. I theorize that this might have the same therapeutic value as meditating...letting go of the stress...
Someone should do a study on that.